chapter  7
15 Pages

Materiality in a Disenchanted Age

WithNicole Simek

This chapter takes up the cultural coordinates of alchemy in writing life. Rather than unproblematically enjoin the predilections of new materialism, it is interested in the material production of racialization in the present and how one writes back across its otherwise scientific certitude. It pays close attention to the normalizing of racial categorization as measurement while invoking the work of Patrick Chamoiseau, the Martinican writer, as a way to challenge the reinscriptions of race (through DNA testing, etc.). It maintains that genomic testing can be a powerful resource, but is particularly concerned to open up the question of identity to kinds of alchemic affiliation or “guerilla alchemies” where storytelling unpins facticity as a mode of division and “properties” as an untransformable potential.